Kochi: The Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau has started a probe into the controversial land acquisition deal entered between Ernakulam collector M.G. Rajamanickam and Seematti Textiles for the purchase of land for the Kochi Metro Rail project. This is pursuant to an order by the Muvattupuzha Vigilance Court to conduct a quick verification into the controversial agreement to acquire 32 cents of land on MG Road, Ernakulam.
The Vigilance team led by SP P.V. Chacko questioned KMRL officials, Mr Girish Babu who moved the Vigilance Court and land revenue officials. It is expected to file a report on March 22.
The Vigilance team also took the statements of Kochi Metro Rail Ltd managing director Elias George, current deputy collector (land acquisition), chief vigilance officer (KMRL) Arun Kumar, chief revenue officer (KMRL) Mohandas Pillai, and project and finance department officials of KMRL.
“We will take the statement of Mr Rajamanickam in the coming days,” said Mr Chacko. On February 23, the court had asked the Vigilance to file a report in 30 days.
The Vigilance also questioned former deputy collector (land acquisition) Shobhanakumari. Deccan Chronicle had reported in these columns on February 10 that the revenue department had bent the rules in favour of the textile shop.
The KMRL also raised objection to the clauses incorporated in the deal by the collector. The agreement was in violation of the standard procedures adopted by the district-level purchase committee. The agreement also mentioned that Seematti has a legal right to get Rs 80 lakh per cent whereas the state-level purchase committed had fixed Rs 52 per cent. The KMRL subsequently asked the collector to redraft the agreement....